Bentley Jones interview by (June 25, 2009)

From Sonic Retro

The following is an interview with Bentley Jones conducted by


Gaming Union: How're things progressing on your next album?

Bentley Jones: Well, I'm at a funny point. TRANS//LATION has given me quite a few opportunities and I need to clarify what each opportunity entails and then decide which direction I want to go in. The main significant difference is whether it will be an English album, or a Japanese album. I mean, either way, if it's a Japanese album I'd like to still include some English tracks, or at least English versions.

Gaming Union: I suppose it's quite hard since you have two fan bases.

Bentley Jones: Yea and it's funny actually. The majority of the fans I hear from are Western fans, whereas the majority of the fans the label hears from are Japanese fans. So, I don't get that much direct feedback from my Japanese fans yet, but it's starting to filter through now. It's kinda tough though, because everything is happening in Japan and it's always been an aspiration of mine for such a long time and now that I have the opportunity to do another album, it would be hard for me to turn it down.

Gaming Union: Well, you can always conquer the West in the future.

Bentley Jones: Well, all the Japanese artists are doing it at the moment.

Gaming Union: So, you'd like to try and take over America at some point?

Bentley Jones: Yikes. If the right opportunities came along, the timing was right and the circumstances were appropriate I'd like to give it a bash. It can be quite competitive though, so I only like to do things if I'm fairly confident I have a good chance of succeeding at it. As for the UK, I have had a couple of offers and for the time being I've put them on the back-burner. If things did kick off in Japan, when I come back here to do recording it'd be nice to come back and not have to worry about the usual work stuff.

Gaming Union: Have you got any prospective release date for your album?

Bentley Jones: Ermmm, no.

Gaming Union: So it’s going to be like Duke Nukem Forever; it's done when it's done.

Bentley Jones: Oh, yea. We were actually talking about that the other day. I'm finalising the details over the next month or so and from the way things have built up I've done it so I've taken my time and got the right people in place, the right people I want to work with. There has to be a certain level of trust and you have to make sure the people on board are on board for the right reasons and that they genuinely want the project to succeed. Once it's all finalised, it'll turn around very fast. I already have a whole list of tracks prepared and lined up, so it'll be a case of recording them, getting them mastered and job done. Then it'll be released, go platinum and be a success (laughs)

Gaming Union: Square Enix produce a lot of remix albums. For example, Final Fantasy Remix and the Black Mages. Sega have ventured into this area a little bit, but if they were going to do more of a broad spectrum, would you want to be involved with that?

Bentley Jones: Hell yea! There is something I'd like to talk about, but I can't just yet. There is something coming up that will hopefully get a few people excited.

Gaming Union: There's also a new Sonic racing game coming out. If there was a chance to be involved would you be interested?

Bentley Jones: Yea, if I got the opportunity I'd love to. I mean, doing tracks for Sonic gives me so much satisfaction because even though I make the music now, I still consider myself part of the fan base. So, to get everyone else around me quite excited about something is very cool and humbling.

Gaming Union: You've done lots of work on Sonic projects and they've been quite successful

Bentley Jones: Thank you!

Gaming Union: Has there been interest from other companies in the industry?

Bentley Jones: Yea, there has, but I can't say anything about it right now.

Gaming Union: Is that for a vocal deal, or a full score?

Bentley Jones: A little bit of both actually. As I said, I've taken my time this year to get a lot of different things in place, which includes my career in video games. So, now that I'm getting settled and everyone's doing their thing, I'm hoping to do a lot more elaborate projects in video games that are going to include different sides of my music. I'm really hoping to surprise some people as I don't think they have seen the best of me yet. I've got a fair bit lined up, but I can't say anything yet.

Gaming Union: Maybe Uematsu-san will give you a call to be the next vocalist on Final Fantasy?

Bentley Jones: You never know

Gaming Union: So you'd definitely be interested in getting involved with more gaming projects in the future?

Bentley Jones: Absolutely. It's at the top of my list.

Gaming Union: Are there any video game composers other than Jeremy Soule that you'd really want to work with?

Bentley Jones: Erm, I don't know. That's a really good question. There are a couple of people I really admire such as Steve Jablonsky. I like a lot of what he's done because I like the balance of electronica and orchestral because it's enough of one and enough of the other and the way it's produced and arranged it's so tight and punchy. It's kinda the orchestra stuff I'd like to do. I really like Jeremy's work and I aspired to Jun when he first got involved with Sonic and I'm working with them now, so it's kinda weird. I need to figure out some new career goals (laughs). Oh, and Kevin Riepl!

Gaming Union: Unreal Tournament, right?

Bentley Jones: Yea. I like him because he's more electronic, but he takes it to the right level. It's also quite melodic, which is always the key for me. If it's not melodic, I'm not really interested.

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